It has been a long journey, but we finally have a tentative agreement for our first contract.
At the links below you will find four documents: (1) the complete text of the tentative Collective Agreement itself; (2) a summary of the major changes that have been negotiated; (3) an article-by-article summary; and (4) a set of Frequently Asked Questions, which tend to be more technical. The summary will allow you to quickly see the most significant results of negotiations, but we would urge you to review the document in its entirety – it is, after all, a proposed agreement between you and SFU. In addition, the Association will be hosting information sessions at all campuses to present the tentative Agreement and answer any questions you might have before casting your ratification ballot. Dates and locations for those meetings are as follows:
Burnaby – DAC – Monday, September 12, 12:30-2:00
Surrey – Room 3595 – Tuesday, September 13, 11:30-1:00
Vancouver – HC 1600 – Wednesday, September 14, 11:30-1:00
Since our certification in May 2014, we have embarked on a long process of negotiations with the University to establish a first Collective Agreement. This Agreement does not eliminate existing University policies, but it does incorporate many of them into our Collective Agreement, and introduces a number of alterations and improvements. University policies can and will continue to be in effect, and may provide greater detail than the Collective Agreement – it is the Agreement, however, that is legally binding, and no University policy can conflict with any term of this Agreement.
While the bulk of our work involved the re-writing of existing terms and procedures into a form appropriate for a Collective Agreement, we did undertake a thorough review of terms and conditions for all SFUFA members, making a number of changes and achieving some very significant improvements.
The Association entered collective bargaining with a number of priorities:
- to negotiate a first Collective Agreement following a collegial and respectful process that maintains our history of productive relationships in the new, post-certification environment
- to protect within the Agreement the key policies and protocols regarding academic freedom and intellectual property that are the foundation for university work
- to develop an improved salary system that recognizes the need for flexibility while providing an additional boost to lower salaries, increased movement to members at all ranks, and a better and more valuable system of step awards to reverse the decline of our salaries relative to our peer institutions
- to take action on faculty pensions to provide greater retirement security to members
- to negotiate a meaningful third rank for Lecturers and greater recognition of the work these members perform outside of the classroom
- to achieve an Agreement that recognizes all SFUFA members as faculty, and establishes greater consistency in employment rights across all job categories
The bargaining team believes that we have negotiated an Agreement that has seen us achieve or make improvements in all of the above areas and more. And the University, too, has achieved a number of its priorities, particularly in its ability to hire in a time of less-consistent funding.
A Collective Agreement is a contract that arises from negotiation and compromise. Both SFUFA and the University came to the table with specific issues to address and with key interests to protect and advance. As with any negotiation, neither party has achieved all it initially presented, and both sides have made compromises in the effort to come to agreement on an overall package – a Collective Agreement to govern the key aspects of employment relations for research and teaching faculty, librarians and archivists at SFU.
All members have the right to vote on whether to ratify and accept this Agreement. The University’s bargaining team will conduct a similar process on its side. If the majority on both sides vote in favor of ratification, this Agreement will come into effect. If the majority on either one side votes against, we will return to the bargaining table.
The SFUFA Executive and the SFUFA Bargaining Team believe this is a strong Agreement that makes significant gains for members, and establishes a firm foundation for effective, collegial labor relations and for the protection of the rights of members and the advancement of the interests of the entire university community. We send this document out encouraging ratification.
The Executive of SFUFA is recommending that members vote YES to approve our first collective agreement.
Thank you for your support, your questions and comments, and your patience through this long period of negotiations.
The bargaining team consisted of
Carl Schwarz, Statistics and Actuarial Science
David Broun, Physics
Carla Graebner, Library
Carolyn Lesjak, English
Brian Green, Executive Director, SFUFA
Jennifer Scott, Member Services Officer, SFUFA